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According to 2015 census data, there were 28,837 weddings in 2013, down from 32,523 the year before.
This was perhaps unsurprising given the average Hong Kong wedding now costs an estimated HK0,000, and rising property prices have made it increasingly difficult for young people to buy their own home.
Hong Kong has the longest average working week in the world at 50.1 hours, a UBS survey found last year.
Ariadna Peretz, founder of matchmaking business Maitre D’ate in 2015, said Hongkongers found it hard to slow down and commit to a relationship, resulting in a “pending-better-offer” phenomenon where people are always looking out for someone better.
“Some Hong Kong singles are conservative and find it hard to open up to meeting new people or approach people they do not know,” she said.
Romantic Hongkongers are ‘world’s biggest Valentine’s Day spenders’ But Lunch Actually’s over 4,000 members – mostly professionals and executives in their late 20s to mid-30s – have also become more flexible in their dating preferences, Lim observed.
Often well-educated, career-driven and financially independent, these women are broadly considered “too old” to marry. Although this misogynistic attitude has becoming less pronounced in Hong Kong, it does still have influence in the dating scene.
In Hong Kong and on the mainland, the label of “leftover women” – unmarried women in their 30s – has long haunted the female sex.
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“We do too much in Hong Kong: too much work, too much travel, too much working out,” she said.
“We just don’t have enough bandwidth to bring someone new on board [for] a relationship.” More work hours have also contributed to delaying marriages, making it harder to meet a partner simply through friends’ introductions, according to Violet Lim, co-founder and chief executive officer of Lunch Actually, a local Asian dating service.
“They are still comparatively traditional and stubborn about the ideal lifestyle – as a person who ‘gets married and lives happily ever after’,” he said.